PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Neighbors in Pender County gathered at the Pender County Government Annex Tuesday to begin training for The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
CERT is a FEMA based program local governments help implement on a county level under the emergency management department.
“They are strictly volunteers and basically, we’re involved with saving people’s lives,” says Walt Makaryk, Pender County CERT coordinator. “We don’t get in long term recovery or property, it’s just a group trained to do light search and rescue, triage and training in the three basic killers: arterial bleeding, loss of respiratory function and shock.”
After a disaster hits, CERT meets at a predetermined location, then assist in helping victims until medical workers arrive on scene.
“Rather than focusing on individuals taking the training, we are going to focus on communities," says Makaryk. “Those are people who work there, live there, and who will go through a disaster there and can respond immediately afterwards. People bleed to death within 15 min to half an hour, so that first half hour is critical.”